What Is the Connection between Narcissism and Divorce?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 15 March 2019
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Narcissism is a psychological disorder in which sufferers have an overly inflated sense of self and importance. Someone suffering from narcissistic personality disorder is truly self-centered and does not consider the feelings of others. This self-centeredness is one of the main connections between narcissism and divorce. The narcissistic personality is always thinking about how to please the self without any regard or consideration for how his or her actions might affect the spouse.

This disregard for the feeling of others is carried over to the divorce. Narcissism and divorce often result in a raw deal for the partner divorcing the narcissist. The narcissist often behaves with extreme hostility toward his or her spouse because he or she sees the spouse as an opposition to a goal. It does not matter if the narcissist was the cause of the divorce through his or her insensitivity and other actions. The narcissist will still try to manipulate his or her spouse by resorting to self-serving tactics.


The situation is further compounded if the person who initiated the divorce is the one not suffering from narcissism. This is like a blow to the ego of the narcissist, who believes the world revolves around him or her. Narcissism and divorce are also connected because marriage to a narcissist is one of daily sacrifice on the part of the other partner who has to keep giving up more and more expectations and needs to satisfy the narcissist. Some of the things the partner may have to sacrifice include acceptance, love, understanding and the feeling that someone is there for him or her. A narcissist is often not willing to compromise, so the partner must be willing to do things his or her way in order for the marriage to work.

Such a person might even be threatened by the success of his or her partner and will not hesitate to belittle the partner's achievements. Another aspect that makes it difficult to live with a narcissist is the fact that he or she does not have the ability to empathize with others. This makes it difficult for that person to understand what other people are going through and to show consideration for others' feelings. For instance, a narcissist who is used to having his wife having dinner on the table may not care that that she has a headache. He would still expect her to prepare his meal, regardless. Narcissism and divorce are also related since the spouses who do not want to continue living that way will eventually seek for a divorce.


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Post 5

I am in the midst of a divorce from a narcissist wife. The description of the illness fits her to a T, unfortunately. I am being left in total financial and emotional ruin and simply struggle day to day to get through this. Manipulation and deceit have become the topic of the day to the point of trying to frame my through linking to my phone and making text messages laced with death threats towards her which we supposed to be from me.

Fortunately, I caught it early and filed charges. I had no idea the depths of depravity one person would go to "get back at someone". I did my best to be a good husband and father to her kids, but after stepping back and seeing she had four kids with four fathers and I was husband number six, I should have known better. What a nightmare.

Post 4

I just finished divorcing a narcissist. It took a year to finally agree with the settlement. It was a complete nightmare dealing with a narcissist. I am still seeking therapy to get my life together. It does take a long time to get over marrying someone with a mental condition.

Thank goodness I am still young and have the opportunity to date others, eventually. It is a long long road to recovery and move on. Hopefully, others will learn the signs and symptoms and don't run into anyone like this again. I wish anyone who divorces a narcissist good luck and I hope eventually you will have future happiness in your lives.

Post 3

I know that people who are married to a narcissist usually don't have very nice things to say about him or her. But the way I see it, a narcissist has an illness and stressful situations like a divorce will always worsen things for them. It's expected for a divorce to bring out the worst in a narcissist. My advice for people who are divorcing a narcissist is to stay calm and try not to take things too personally.

I know it's not easy to do but remembering that the person you're dealing with is suffering from a mental health condition will take off some of the tension.

Post 2

@turquoise-- I don't know if narcissists are more likely to divorce, but I do know that it is very difficult to divorce a narcissist.

The article is completely right about narcissists. Narcissists have a hard time letting go, especially if it's the other partner who filed for divorce. Since narcissists see divorce as a sort of competition, they tend to engage in trickery and manipulate the other person to get the better end of the deal, or to get the partner back. Even after a divorce, a narcissist might not want to let go.

My best friend was married to a narcissist for ten years and it was very tough for her. He continued to contact her and tried to manipulate her after the divorce. My friend had to go through a lot of therapy to heal her emotional wounds.

Post 1

Does anyone know the divorce rate of people with narcissistic disorder? I'm guessing that narcissists are more likely to divorce than others.

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